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ghalfaire

Another Boundary Fence Question

40 posts in this topic

So here is what happened.  One of the local courses was doing some work in the left rough of par 5 hole and had put up a temporary fence to protect the workers.  They had a local rule that stated this temporary fence was the OB boundary until the work was completed.

So as luck would have it I hooked my drive into the fence and the ball came to rest a few inches, 6" or so, to the right of the fence, in bounds.  Since I can't hit the ball right handed I turned over my 8I and was going to make the stroke left handed (I'm a natural lefty but play right).  When I took a left handed stance my feet were on the cart path, so I said I was taking relief.  I go the right side of the cart path (nearest point of relief not nearer the hole) and take relief for a right handed golfer.  My buddy says I can't do that and have to take relief as a Left handed golfer and hit the ball left handed since the initial interference was because I couldn't make a left handed stoke. I said the rules don't require I hit the ball one way or the other just because the initial interference was in trying to take a left handed stance. I took relief and made the stroke right handed.  My buddy said I cheated and was annoyed (not sure why I lost by a stoke and had to buy the round anyway).

I asked the pro when I got in and so I think I know the answer.  But wanted your opinions as I can't find anything in the rules about left hand/right hand relief.  So while I don't see anything in the rules that specifically disallows what I did I don't see anything that permits it either.  But so that you know the local pro said I was within the rules to take relief hit the ball right handed even though I was going to initially hit the ball left handed as that was the only way I could have hit it when next to the fence.

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As your left handed stroke was reasonable in the circumstances you were entitled to take relief for that stroke. Once you had determined the npr and dropped the ball within 1cl of that point (any club may be used for that measure of course) you now had a new situation.

Under that new situation, you may take any club you wish to play the next stroke.

See Decision 24-2b/4

http://www.usga.org/Rule-Books/Rules-of-Golf/Decision-24/#24-2b/4

24-2b/9.5 and 24-2b/18 may be useful also

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Thanks for the response.  Nice to know I did it right.  I have a rule book but am going to have to learn how to look up decisions on the internet.

Originally Posted by Rulesman

As your left handed stroke was reasonable in the circumstances you were entitled to take relief for that stroke. Once you had determined the npr and dropped the ball within 1cl of that point (any club may be used for that measure of course) you now had a new situation.

Under that new situation, you may take any club you wish to play the next stroke.

See Decision 24-2b/4

http://www.usga.org/Rule-Books/Rules-of-Golf/Decision-24/#24-2b/4

24-2b/9.5 and 24-2b/18 may be useful also



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Originally Posted by Rulesman

As your left handed stroke was reasonable in the circumstances you were entitled to take relief for that stroke. Once you had determined the npr and dropped the ball within 1cl of that point (any club may be used for that measure of course) you now had a new situation.

Under that new situation, you may take any club you wish to play the next stroke.


While the above is true of course, I don't think it addresses this:

Originally Posted by ghalfaire

Since I can't hit the ball right handed I turned over my 8I and was going to make the stroke left handed (I'm a natural lefty but play right).  When I took a left handed stance my feet were on the cart path, so I said I was taking relief.  I go the right side of the cart path (nearest point of relief not nearer the hole) and take relief for a right handed golfer.  My buddy says I can't do that and have to take relief as a Left handed golfer...

If you're taking relief for a left-handed stroke, I would think the NPR needs to be determined based on a left-handed stroke. It sounds like relief for a left-handed stroke would've had the ball too close to the cart path for a right-handed stroke, which you really wanted to play, so you dropped for a right-handed stroke instead of a left-handed stroke which you were really taking relief for. Not sure if that's legal - I wouldn't think so.

It's possible that once you take relief based on a left-hand stroke, you can say "I've changed my mind and now want to play it right-handed", and take relief again for the new situation. Not sure if that's legal either, but definitely not in the spirit of the rules IMO.

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Originally Posted by sacm3bill

It's possible that once you take relief based on a left-hand stroke, you can say "I've changed my mind and now want to play it right-handed", and take relief again for the new situation. Not sure if that's legal either, but definitely not in the spirit of the rules IMO.


It's perfectly legal, and I would say that if you would reasonably play the original shot left-handed, but the situation - within the Rules - changes, it would be outside the spirit of the Rules to continue to force someone to play left-handed.

I believe that technically the golfer should have found NPR based on his left-handed swing and completed the drop. Then, since it's reasonable for him to play right-handed (his normal swing) from the new position, he could have taken relief again if the cart path was still in the way. NPR would have been just outside the cart path, and a club length (plus the ball rolling a little bit) could have gotten the ball far enough away from the cart path that the player could easily have stood right-handed and played a shot, thus not requiring the second drop.

I don't like that effectively two drops were condensed into one, though the Rules state that if the drop turned out to be legal (i.e. within the first drop zone) it's irrelevant how it was done, just that a legal drop was made.

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Originally Posted by iacas

Quote:

Originally Posted by sacm3bill

It's possible that once you take relief based on a left-hand stroke, you can say "I've changed my mind and now want to play it right-handed", and take relief again for the new situation. Not sure if that's legal either, but definitely not in the spirit of the rules IMO.

It's perfectly legal, and I would say that if you would reasonably play the original shot left-handed, but the situation - within the Rules - changes, it would be outside the spirit of the Rules to continue to force someone to play left-handed.

Ok, I'll buy that.

Originally Posted by iacas

I believe that technically the golfer should have found NPR based on his left-handed swing and completed the drop.


Yep, that was the main issue I wanted to ask about.

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This is addressed in decision 24-2b/17

Q. A right-handed player’s ball is so close to a boundary fence on the left of a hole that the player, in order to play towards the hole, must play left-handed. In playing a left-handed stroke, the player’s backswing would be interfered with by an immovable obstruction. Is the player entitled to relief from the obstruction?

A. The player is entitled to relief since employment of an abnormal (left-handed) stroke is necessary in the circumstances — see Exception under Rule 24-2b.

The proper procedure is for the player to take relief for a left-handed stroke in accordance with Rule 24-2b(i).

The player may then use a normal right-handed swing for his next stroke . If the obstruction interferes with the swing or stance for the right-handed stroke, the player may take relief for the right-handed stroke in accordance with Rule 24-2b(i).” .

The only problem I see is that your npr was not to the right of the cart path, it was to the left.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vladimir Puttin' View Post

This is addressed in decision 24-2b/17

... The player may then use a normal right-handed swing for his next stroke . If the obstruction interferes with the swing or stance for the right-handed stroke, the player may take relief for the right-handed stroke in accordance with Rule 24-2b(i).” .

Yes, the bolded part was never in question.  The sentence after that is what I was asking about, which Erik answered. Good to have the actual citing too, thanks.

Quote:

The only problem I see is that your npr was not to the right of the cart path, it was to the left.

Not necessarily, in fact from the description it sounds like there was very little real estate between the cart path and the fence, so easy to imagine there was no room for a drop where the stance was clear of the path.

So it sounds like the only issue is there should've been 2 drops, unless the first drop was made such that it was legal for a left-handed swing.

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My understanding of the situation is in this diagram.

The ball is at A. It is reasonable in the circumstances for the player to play a left handed stroke as he cannot make a right handed stroke.

To make a LH stroke he must stand on the path and therefore is entitled to relief.

The npr for a LH stroke is at X. NB to determine this he should use the club he would have used to play the LH stroke from A as if the path had not been there.

He can now measure 1cl using any club in his bag to determine point Y. He must now drop between X & Y but the ball may roll upto 2cl further away (but not nearer the hole).

Having dropped, npr.jpg he may now take a RH stroke using any club in his bag as this is a new situation.

Further, if the ball finishes too close to the path to make a RH stroke without interference from the path (with whatever club he has now chosen) he may now take relief from the path for this RH stroke.

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OK I think this final analysis is correct.  I should have taken the first relief as a left handed golfer. But then, likely, the cart path would have interfered with my right hand stance.  I would have then been entitled to a second relief (as a right hand golfer).  So I suspect as a practical matter it ended up the same but I didn't follow the rules as I thought I had.  Well as I said in the OP I had to buy the beer in any case, so I guess no harm.  This happened about a year ago so too late to fix the score for handicap with appropriate penalty.

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Still not convinced he played from the npr.  Look at Decision 24-2b/3.7.  Ball 2 (B2) is what the OP described and according to the rules the npr is between the OB fence and cart path.  It doesn't show the npr to be to the right of the cart path.

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Originally Posted by Vladimir Puttin'

Still not convinced he played from the npr.  Look at Decision 24-2b/3.7.  Ball 2 (B2) is what the OP described and according to the rules the npr is between the OB fence and cart path.  It doesn't show the npr to be to the right of the cart path.


If he's taking a left-handed stance, then it would be on the other side. He's taking relief from the cart path, not the boundary fence, so his notional stance would be on the other side of the ball (assuming that S2 is a right-handed stroke). The only way that P2 would be the correct NPR would be if there were room for his left-handed stance and swing without interference from the cart path.

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Quote:
I asked the pro when I got in and so I think I know the answer.  But wanted your opinions ...

Your friend's a dick.

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Originally Posted by Vladimir Puttin'

Still not convinced he played from the npr.  Look at Decision 24-2b/3.7.  Ball 2 (B2) is what the OP described and according to the rules the npr is between the OB fence and cart path.  It doesn't show the npr to be to the right of the cart path.



Still "not convinced" despite it being bleeding obvious that the spot betwen the fence and the cart path is too narrow for him to take a stance?

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Originally Posted by Vladimir Puttin'

Still not convinced he played from the npr.  Look at Decision 24-2b/3.7.  Ball 2 (B2) is what the OP described and according to the rules the npr is between the OB fence and cart path.  It doesn't show the npr to be to the right of the cart path.



The Decision is only showing the npr for RH strokes in certain situations. The fact that it is almost impossible to make a RH stroke in the case of B2/P2/S2 is not the point of the decision.

The player is perfectly entitled to take a LH stroke if it is reasonable to do so. See the Exception to Rule 24-2b.

When he takes relief for the LH stroke it will be to the right of the path because there is insufficient room to take relief on the left because the npr cannot be OOB.

Incidentally, in the OP the ball is not actually on the path as in the decision but it doesn't make any difference to the relief.

The player is not seeking relief for a RH stroke. It simply cannot be made. He is seeking relief for a LH stroke.

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Originally Posted by ghalfaire

I asked the pro when I got in and so I think I know the answer.



Interested to hear the pro's answer. Was is the correct one?

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Originally Posted by WWBDD

Your friend's a dick.



Why? Because he pointed out that OP was in breach of a Rule?

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Now let's say the OPs question was that he took a right handed stance to move the ball back towards the tee box (pretend there are trees in front blocking a forward advancement). Since he is on the path he then follows the procedure for relief and the result is what the OP posted.  Right? He is taking relief for a right handed stroke. Will he take his relief for a shot being played back towards the teeing ground or is he now able to face the hole as relief would give him that opportunity (I believe he takes normal relief) ?

I never thought that in the original post he would have to take relief for how he was planning a shot, but how he intended to hit the relief shot, but it makes sense. In any way, this situation shows how knowing the rules can benefit you even to your partner's chagrin.

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